Three tankers were detained after being suspected of illegally transferring oil via a ship-to-ship operation at eastern Johor waters on Monday (30 May), said Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
The impound was carried out from noon to 7pm on 29 May about 9.1 nautical miles, east of Tanjung Siang.
Johor MMEA director, First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria, said the three vessels were detained in an operation involving the Tanjung Sedili Maritime Zone, an MMEA aircraft and seven MMEA Special Action Force personnel.
“The impound had to be carried out through forced boarding by our Special Action Force, due to the stubbornness of the crew in not cooperating with us,” he said in a statement.
He added the tankers were registered in Singapore, Malabo, and Monrovia with a total crew of 39 Indonesians, Singaporeans and Russians, aged between 24 and 62 years.
All were found to have valid identification documents during the operation.
Nurul Hizam said the case is being investigated under Section 491B (1)(K) for illegally transferring fuel from ship to ship and under Section 491B (1)(L) for anchoring illegally.
If found guilty, they could be fined up to MYR 100,000 or sentenced to two years’ jail, or both.
“The captains of the three ships are also being investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing the duties of a civil servant,” he notes.
“If found guilty, they could be sentenced a maximum jail term of two years or a fine of up to MYR 10,000 or both.”
Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 31 May, 2022
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